Jump to content


Photo

So, what does it take to "Make It" in the pottery world


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,108 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:01 AM

While sitting in my room at the John Campbell Folk School I happened upon a book on making a living from your pottery that was written in the early 1900's. Since I love anything to do with Marketing I started to read, somewhat expecting an outdated take on the subject. Much to my surprise ... Internet, facebook, tweets and etsy aside ... this book could have been written last week, the basics are still exactly the same. Well made pottery. Fairly priced. Delivered on time. Doesn't sound that hard does it?

Not difficult, but not "sexy" either. Potters I have met who are supporting their families and sending kids to college with their work are not in the Artsy magazines, they don't make personal pieces no one understands and they definitely don't make work no one wants. If you visit their studios there are always hundreds of pieces in process, so they are working all the time. They can tell you what pieces sell best and in which color. They know who their customer is and what they will always want. They know how much of everything they have to make every week to keep the lights on.

Sure you can aim to make 'Art' that sells for $15,000 each in a high toned gallery, but how many do you plan to sell to support yourself? The gallery takes at least 50%, so even four a year nets $30,000 and that's before the IRS, the state and your overhead gets their chunk. Not likely you can cut out the gallery either since you need that kind of marketing exposure to sell high priced work.

As to being a superstar ... well, the sun only shines for so long. The flavor of the month/year is replaced as attention wavers so they better have a Plan B in place. Look at the covers of your old ceramics magazines and wonder where they all are. How many are still working outside the spotlight ... staying in the game by teaching, workshops, wholesale and retail.

I am not trying to make the point that you should not try. You should if pottery is what you love and what you want to do. I'm mostly saying that it is a marathon, not a sprint so don't be shy about getting training, help and advice. Forget the silliness about not being a real potter because you have a spouse supporting your efforts. In today's world, both spouses do work to help support the household. Why should artists have to do it alone to prove their worthiness? If you partnered with someone who has benefits, good for you. Takes a lot of the pressure off.

Only working part time because you need the full time pay with benefits ... again, good for you. Many potters I have met are doing just that and their work is wonderful ... and really isn't that exactly what the big name MFA's are doing? Teaching and potting.

One of the most helpful articles for working potters, or those who hope to have their own studios someday, was first published right here in four parts ... scroll down to find Hourly Earnings for a Potter by Mea Rhee, the moderator.

On my own website I have a link to Marketing your work to Galleries which gives you a step by step guide to approaching galleries.

Potters Council ... http://ceramicartsda...otters-council/ ... is a group dedicated to help working potters succeed. Their Benefits include low rates on credit card processing, low FedEx rates, health insurance and best of all, a Mentoring program to help you on your way.

This post is meant to be the start of a conversation, not a rant from a soap box!:D
So please join in with comments, questions and opposing view points ... lets start talking about success.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
www.ccpottery.com

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#2 joshL

joshL

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:23 PM

messed that up.. sorry.

#3 joshL

joshL

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 06 September 2011 - 04:23 PM

The day I put my work in a gallery is ironically right around the time I stopped doing ceramics. I sold work first time in a gallery. Sure I came from a background of arts and i had high expectations of it all and I knew deep down inside that I would sell work and it if anything it was under priced. It did, put a smile on my face. That's something I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. In six months time, I got myself from the kid who played with ceramics 20 years ago to the man in the studio who got himself involved in things people don't do and showed to myself that my work can sell. It's also a snobs world to some degree in my opinion. Walking around as a child with my parents while their works were in galleries and them all talking about their success, and their schooling etc. It's a different crowd in my opinion. I took my 3 year old niece with me to the gallery opening of my work and didn't say a word to most people. I didn't brag about my work and i still sold it. The work sold itself. It also made me realize in art that if you can cover a large spectrum of the folks with money you will do much better. Why? Because at a studio show i didn't sell anything except for a few small pieces. So I rethought my life the past 8 months on how to build a business where you cover the spectrum of buyers. Have folks come in who want to buy the expensive stuff but can't afford it but leave with something closer to what they can pull out of their pockets. What I did realize back in the day as far as galleries are concerned is that i'm going to own one.

I have my heart set on doing some crazy stuff in the near future. It's a great experiment of bringing in customers. 8 months of building and planning it out and messing around with ceramics here and there to figure out some of my style.

I'm lucky enough my eye's have seen ceramics all of my life. Some of the best, some of the worst. Some folks just like "hand made" It's not even about the style. It becomes this conversation piece of "oh this little woman makes these mugs on a wheel and sells them" and it's a spectacle to them because they don't understand the pottery wheel.

Aesthetic opinion plays a role in my mind on why I grew up with visually knowing what ceramics was to me. My father's work was a little bit of everything and a man who sat and made regular pots for a while for a business as a young man and then got tired of it all and started to push and play and found his style. My style is completely different than his and from a background of him being a "masters" degree RISD graduate and he thinks his opinion is right. Well, It's not about right and wrong and it's about Aesthetic opinions. That's the difficultly of finding the right teachers and also being the right student.

If you are the right student to someone you will realize that your teacher found things that they are comfortable with and know how to teach these ways of art. You take what you can take, and if there are areas that brush you off the wrong way attempt to not let it bother you to much. I'm completely happy that I lucked out and got a minimal education in how to do ceramics but saw some of the best around me if not the best work. If you are willing to sit at potters wheel and play around you will find your style and it might be accidental. Build a perfect student and it's just like having a mini me of the teacher. Build a student who adapts and grows and takes pieces of inspiration from all areas. That's when you start to become something in life. When you start do things folks never seen before in life. That's one of the beauties of ceramics. There is still a lot out there that hasn't been done.

Ceramics is the easy part of my life. Building motorcycles, and houses, and putting engines in cars that never had that engine. Engineering things folks never did before and figuring out how to do it. I find inspiration and tooling ideas from outside the potter's world. I believe in the businesses that I'm building because I come from a background of so many different things. I've learned to see process in my head and resolutions to process before the act is even done. That's really important to ceramics. That's blurry idea, that light bulb thought, that imagine of where one can take something in life. To be inspired by so many things. If you are in a community studio, or a college studio. They feed off each other, the work doesn't grow to much, especially if the teachers are not that great.

To be successful in a ceramics world? I think one's environment, imagination, and desire for visual stimulants plays a major role in building a business. However that's the same with the art world. Push your creativity to edge, find something that you think is interesting and take it as far as it will go and if it gets to weird for folks then dial it back.

If you can teach it to someone else in a hour. If you can build a few machines that work. Then you really have something going for you. "potter". It's such a "defined" word. I'm not a "potter" but I can throw really good. fine porcelain, whatever. I can't stand labels. You box yourself in to what you can be in life.

You have to cover the whole spectrum of folks with money, or if your clients/customers/ are $20.00 mugs, well i can't imagine the boring nature of it all after a while. It will become a chore. For a person who takes vikes a day in life for probably the rest of my life if you are going to do something hopefully it doesn't become that chore. My other work became a chore, and in the end broke me down and i'm also born with a few imperfections. Such is life.

If it becomes a chore and it still does well hire someone else(intern) and get more creative. I didn't jump into the ceramics world to start a business because I knew that would happen from seeing it happen to other folks who ran ceramics/ arts world businesses. It became a chore, they started making the same thing over and over again and saturated the areas to the point they went out of business. What ever you do make sure there is time and energy for growing. I tend to choose my growth as a person before I get myself into selling work. I saw it sell. I saw the folks eyes looking at it and smiling. There are a lot of companies out there that will get successful being creative. Don't stop the creativity even when you find something that works. IF you saturate the area you are in your business will fail. The web helps, do a lot of thinking about it all.

Talent is there, the environment where it goes properly is in the mix now. That's the other part of being an artist. If you want a mill space? Get enough space for your other hobbies. They will give your mind a break. I'm sticking a golfing net and putting green in one of my mill spaces. Be just as creative with your work environment and you are with your work. Sometimes it good to walk away and do something completely else, like play the piano. IF you have the space, you might want to consider putting random fun stuff in there.

For me it's not 100% about ceramics. It's about a work environment that I want in life. If I'm building a motorcycle, I get to walk away from it. Maybe the motorcycle inspires some ceramics and so on in life.

Try to keep it from being a chore, You will go in wanting believe it's not going to be a chore and then it will become one. If it does become one, make sure the things around you allow your mind to walk away from it all. Make sure they make you money.

Don't bore your mind with ceramics. Feed it with inspiration.

Josh.

#4 joshL

joshL

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:03 PM

....

#5 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 798 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:35 PM

I think the hardest part for most potters is to find that elusive balance between work that you want to make, and work that sells. You can't get anywhere unless you can find some common ground. And there are quite a few aspiring potters who, for various reasons, will never find it.

There are successful pottery businesses run by potters that you've probably never heard of. Not because they are shy or don't want any attention, just because they don't have time to pursue those splashy shows and magazine covers! If you are motivated by fame or glamour, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Thanks for saying nice things about my Hourly Earnings Project! I agree totally with your "marketing for potters" info on your website. Good common sense values.

Mea
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#6 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,898 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:20 AM

While sitting in my room at the John Campbell Folk School I happened upon a book on making a living from your pottery that was written in the early 1900's. Since I love anything to do with Marketing I started to read, somewhat expecting an outdated take on the subject. Much to my surprise ... Internet, facebook, tweets and etsy aside ... this book could have been written last week, the basics are still exactly the same. Well made pottery. Fairly priced. Delivered on time. Doesn't sound that hard does it?

Not difficult, but not "sexy" either. Potters I have met who are supporting their families and sending kids to college with their work are not in the Artsy magazines, they don't make personal pieces no one understands and they definitely don't make work no one wants. If you visit their studios there are always hundreds of pieces in process, so they are working all the time. They can tell you what pieces sell best and in which color. They know who their customer is and what they will always want. They know how much of everything they have to make every week to keep the lights on.

Sure you can aim to make 'Art' that sells for $15,000 each in a high toned gallery, but how many do you plan to sell to support yourself? The gallery takes at least 50%, so even four a year nets $30,000 and that's before the IRS, the state and your overhead gets their chunk. Not likely you can cut out the gallery either since you need that kind of marketing exposure to sell high priced work.

As to being a superstar ... well, the sun only shines for so long. The flavor of the month/year is replaced as attention wavers so they better have a Plan B in place. Look at the covers of your old ceramics magazines and wonder where they all are. How many are still working outside the spotlight ... staying in the game by teaching, workshops, wholesale and retail.

I am not trying to make the point that you should not try. You should if pottery is what you love and what you want to do. I'm mostly saying that it is a marathon, not a sprint so don't be shy about getting training, help and advice. Forget the silliness about not being a real potter because you have a spouse supporting your efforts. In today's world, both spouses do work to help support the household. Why should artists have to do it alone to prove their worthiness? If you partnered with someone who has benefits, good for you. Takes a lot of the pressure off.

Only working part time because you need the full time pay with benefits ... again, good for you. Many potters I have met are doing just that and their work is wonderful ... and really isn't that exactly what the big name MFA's are doing? Teaching and potting.

One of the most helpful articles for working potters, or those who hope to have their own studios someday, was first published right here in four parts ... scroll down to find Hourly Earnings for a Potter by Mea Rhee, the moderator.

On my own website I have a link to Marketing your work to Galleries which gives you a step by step guide to approaching galleries.

Potters Council ... http://ceramicartsda...otters-council/ ... is a group dedicated to help working potters succeed. Their Benefits include low rates on credit card processing, low FedEx rates, health insurance and best of all, a Mentoring program to help you on your way.

This post is meant to be the start of a conversation, not a rant from a soap box!:D
So please join in with comments, questions and opposing view points ... lets start talking about success.




Having been a teacher most of my life, making it with pottery wasn't a priority. However, I did shows in the local area, and sold quite a few pots over the years. Back then I believed that my functional pottery should sell at a price to be used. If it were too expensive, then it sat on a shelf, too cheap-people questioned it. The book you mentioned seems to follow those lines, and yet there was a problem. In the first few shows, If I priced pieces where I thought they were worth, they were underpriced for the other work in the same show. This would cause a little uproar among the potters that were trying to make a living. Ruffled feathers I don't like to deal with. So I raised prices. Today, I am retired, and make pots still. In the end I guess making it for me now means leaving here with a few really good pots around that people will use and some will treasure.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#7 OffCenter

OffCenter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,372 posts

Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:44 AM

A few of my father's pieces that I enjoy. It's not your typical mug, it's not a boring plate. There is something personal to it all. It's all aesthetic opinions on what is style. Mine is completely different then his, but I see a few influences in my work. I tend to think I saw what I thought was the best at a young age, and he got over the hump of boring, and started to get more interesting. That's me these days. Getting more interesting, making things organic but purposeful and personal. I'll post about this subject because I grew up around it all. Because I saw my father the teacher who was a Ceramics professor who didn't have the time to focus on his work because of my mother passing away from cancer, and when he did start to do work, it intruded on his work, in a way that messed with him a bit in life. Putting one's emotions into work can be a wonderful thing but not everyone is going to understand it. However at the same point Emotions, a connection, a desire to touch it. These are things that sell pieces. Sometimes the most bitter negatives can have a positive influence on one in their art work. Most potters don't do that in my opinion. They separate their sculpture side of their brain from the "potter". If you can connect both of them, if you can make it personal. If a piece is a "insert name" and you know this without any question. That's a joy in life. All the work I do now is completely sculptural, It will finds it's way into functional, but for the mean time that "josh" in my work. I'm finding it. Spinning a pot on wheel is easy in my opinion. Defining a "pot". Being proud to put your name on it. That's another story, and it's a lot about aesthetic opinions but you can cover the spectrum of folks.

Josh.

Me and my niece at the gallery opening. haha. She changed me as a person. A good majority of my sculptural work is about someone like her. Her character/playful nature has a major influence on me. She even works with me from time to time with ceramics. Kids, don't grade themselves. They just act and enjoy. I stopped grading myself and acted and enjoyed when I started doing clay with my 3 year old niece.


Lot of verbage. Lets see some pictures.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#8 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 798 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:25 AM

A lot of talented potters are stopped in their tracks by an inability to promote themselves. Some think "self-promotion" is a dirty word, like it means bragging in an arrogant way. But the truth has nothing to do with that. And successful businesses have figured this out.

I'd say half of a self-promotion plan is finding the right venues for your work, i.e. surfing the internet, reading reviews, visiting shows and galleries, talking to other artists. It's shocking how many artists fail to do this, then conclude that "art festivals suck." Or they got too comfortable going to the same dying shows year after year, forgetting that it is their responsibility to keep looking for new venues.

One weekend spent at a bad show can really drain your energy and motivation. Try to avoid this as much as possible. And if you think that being a self-employed artist means you will someday crest a hill, then start coasting downhill, you are wrong. There may be periods where your hill gets less steep, but it is always an uphill climb.

The other half of self-promotion are your people skills, i.e. being able to talk about your work to a total stranger, communicating clearly, expressing confidence. Just like pottery skills, some people have more talent for this than others, but anyone can learn to be competent. I think the best approach is to make work that you have invested a great deal of your thought, feelings, and values, because you will naturally have a lot to say about it. "It's not braggin' if you really done it*" If you are talking honestly and genuinely about your work, nobody will perceive it as bragging. You don't have to resemble a used car salesman. I know some potters who are very minimal about it ... quiet, soft-spoken ... but still completely at ease talking about their work.

It is such a shame to see talented potters at the Buyers Market trade show, who spent thousands of dollars to be there, looking completely unprepared to talk about their work. They spend the whole show with their body language oozing "I'm afraid to talk to you." How did they not know they would have to talk to people?

And of course I'm not suggesting that good self-promotion is a substitute for quality work. It's not. But you can't dismiss it either, it is fundamentally important.

Mea



*from the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#9 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,108 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:26 PM

Last night at our potters guild meeting we had a presentation by Daniel Johnston, a potter from Seagrove. Some of you might have heard of his " 100 Large Jars " project ... http://danieljohnsto...ge-jar-project/

Interestingly his resume is heavy on apprenticing, not college degrees ... from 1997 til 2003 with various potters. His pots are very strong reflections of where he has been and with who. Apprenticing in North Carolina, England and Thailand have supplied a foundation. So, another way to 'make it' in the pottery world.

His words of advice for choosing a mentor/working potter ... listen carefully to how they talk about their work. If they are always talking about what they should be doing or would like to be doing ... go somewhere else ... to someone who IS doing. Talking is no match for actual work.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
www.ccpottery.com

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#10 joshL

joshL

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:26 PM


A few of my father's pieces that I enjoy. It's not your typical mug, it's not a boring plate. There is something personal to it all. It's all aesthetic opinions on what is style. Mine is completely different then his, but I see a few influences in my work. I tend to think I saw what I thought was the best at a young age, and he got over the hump of boring, and started to get more interesting. That's me these days. Getting more interesting, making things organic but purposeful and personal. I'll post about this subject because I grew up around it all. Because I saw my father the teacher who was a Ceramics professor who didn't have the time to focus on his work because of my mother passing away from cancer, and when he did start to do work, it intruded on his work, in a way that messed with him a bit in life. Putting one's emotions into work can be a wonderful thing but not everyone is going to understand it. However at the same point Emotions, a connection, a desire to touch it. These are things that sell pieces. Sometimes the most bitter negatives can have a positive influence on one in their art work. Most potters don't do that in my opinion. They separate their sculpture side of their brain from the "potter". If you can connect both of them, if you can make it personal. If a piece is a "insert name" and you know this without any question. That's a joy in life. All the work I do now is completely sculptural, It will finds it's way into functional, but for the mean time that "josh" in my work. I'm finding it. Spinning a pot on wheel is easy in my opinion. Defining a "pot". Being proud to put your name on it. That's another story, and it's a lot about aesthetic opinions but you can cover the spectrum of folks.

Josh.

Me and my niece at the gallery opening. haha. She changed me as a person. A good majority of my sculptural work is about someone like her. Her character/playful nature has a major influence on me. She even works with me from time to time with ceramics. Kids, don't grade themselves. They just act and enjoy. I stopped grading myself and acted and enjoyed when I started doing clay with my 3 year old niece.


Lot of verbage. Lets see some pictures.

Jim


Pics come when the business is ready. I know my talents, and there are about 15 other potters who will back me up on my talents. It is what it is.. i'm vague, I leave it at that these days.

#11 OffCenter

OffCenter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,372 posts

Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:18 PM



A few of my father's pieces that I enjoy. It's not your typical mug, it's not a boring plate. There is something personal to it all. It's all aesthetic opinions on what is style. Mine is completely different then his, but I see a few influences in my work. I tend to think I saw what I thought was the best at a young age, and he got over the hump of boring, and started to get more interesting. That's me these days. Getting more interesting, making things organic but purposeful and personal. I'll post about this subject because I grew up around it all. Because I saw my father the teacher who was a Ceramics professor who didn't have the time to focus on his work because of my mother passing away from cancer, and when he did start to do work, it intruded on his work, in a way that messed with him a bit in life. Putting one's emotions into work can be a wonderful thing but not everyone is going to understand it. However at the same point Emotions, a connection, a desire to touch it. These are things that sell pieces. Sometimes the most bitter negatives can have a positive influence on one in their art work. Most potters don't do that in my opinion. They separate their sculpture side of their brain from the "potter". If you can connect both of them, if you can make it personal. If a piece is a "insert name" and you know this without any question. That's a joy in life. All the work I do now is completely sculptural, It will finds it's way into functional, but for the mean time that "josh" in my work. I'm finding it. Spinning a pot on wheel is easy in my opinion. Defining a "pot". Being proud to put your name on it. That's another story, and it's a lot about aesthetic opinions but you can cover the spectrum of folks.

Josh.

Me and my niece at the gallery opening. haha. She changed me as a person. A good majority of my sculptural work is about someone like her. Her character/playful nature has a major influence on me. She even works with me from time to time with ceramics. Kids, don't grade themselves. They just act and enjoy. I stopped grading myself and acted and enjoyed when I started doing clay with my 3 year old niece.


Lot of verbage. Lets see some pictures.

Jim


Pics come when the business is ready. I know my talents, and there are about 15 other potters who will back me up on my talents. It is what it is.. i'm vague, I leave it at that these days.


Then I'll wait to read your long posts when you have something to show.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#12 CarlCravens

CarlCravens

    Long-time Dabbler

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • LocationWichita, KS

Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:12 PM

The spousal income thing has always confused me... many households require two incomes. My wife and I are raising our son on a single income by choice, but I'm a computer professional and well-paid in my field. And even then, I can't afford things my "peers" can afford. I can't imagine a couple with kids trying to make a living from a single pottery income, let alone others refusing to take them seriously as artists if they don't.
Carl (Wichita, KS)

#13 joshL

joshL

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:43 PM

All set with this forum. :P Good luck. I have better things to do.

#14 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,108 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:03 PM

Well, not an open forum ... A moderated forum.
A forum dedicated to the exchange of ideas in a respectful manner.

There is absolutely no need to escalate the personal angles further ... no one is gonna "win" here.
Let's stick to the topic please.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
www.ccpottery.com

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#15 clay lover

clay lover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 812 posts
  • LocationSoutheast

Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:08 AM

Well, not an open forum ... A moderated forum.
A forum dedicated to the exchange of ideas in a respectful manner.

There is absolutely no need to escalate the personal angles further ... no one is gonna "win" here.
Let's stick to the topic please.




Thanks you, Chris.





I am in that place that Mea, I think, described. The conflict between what will sell and what I would be making if all I did was let the clay lead me.
I don't mind making the things that sell, I enjoy clay and all the processes that go into producing a piece. (except reclaim). But the idea of selling myself short by doing the good sellers bugs me. Except when I' ve had a profitable show, and the arty guy in the next booth hasen't gotten anything but a tired back from his weekend.


By the way, I was visiting a gallery in NC and saw these cunning little elephants and suddenly realized, from reading this board, they were Mea's.Posted Image I do believe she's arrived!! I was delighted to see them and took one home with me, I feel almost like I've met Mea.

#16 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 798 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:41 AM

[written while wearing my moderator hat]

Honest feedback, including criticism, is part of the creative world. As long as it is civil and substantive, it is welcome here too.

You don't need to avoid being controversial, but please only contribute things that you are willing to stand behind. And if ideas become lost in personal bickering, yes a moderator will cut you off.

I think most people here understand these things, which is much appreciated.

Mea
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#17 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 798 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:43 AM

The spousal income thing has always confused me... many households require two incomes. My wife and I are raising our son on a single income by choice, but I'm a computer professional and well-paid in my field. And even then, I can't afford things my "peers" can afford. I can't imagine a couple with kids trying to make a living from a single pottery income, let alone others refusing to take them seriously as artists if they don't.




I am a one-income pottery household, but I only have to support one person ... myself. It's much easier for me to make ultra-frugal choices. I take a lot of pride in doing it on my own, but I can't fathom supporting a family with this amount of income either!

Mea
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#18 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 798 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

clay lover,

Glad you like the elephant! They please me a lot too. And they are good sellers. You see, it's elusive but possible.

Mea
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#19 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,108 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 08 September 2011 - 01:13 PM

I hope we can continue this discussion since the topic is important ... especially in this economy.
I'm sure many more of you have your own takes on what it means to 'make it' and what it takes.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
www.ccpottery.com

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#20 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 798 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:52 AM

If you need a good laugh today ... here's how NOT to "make it" in the pottery world: buy a $37 how-to manual for succeeding at pottery.

This website is really funny, in a horrifying kind of way. It is so delusional I think it's possible it is a spoof.

http://potterybusinessprofits.com/

If anyone finds $100 bills hidden in their wheel, I will stand corrected!

Mea
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users